Shady, damp areas are often a difficult place to maintain a garden. Coniferous (cone bearing trees) tend to create a rather acid soil environment making plant growth difficult. The soil can be amended with calcium sources. It is better to use decorative mulch, rather than plants under trees. Mulch will prevent root damage to the trees. Under deciduous trees (broad leaf trees) it is not necessarily a desirable place to plant, because of potential root damage to the trees. When you go outside of the drip line (the edge of the branches) the roots are deeper and the soil is less acidic making planting desirable.
Often by looking at a plants foliage, you can tell if it will do well in a damp shady area. Shade plants have large leaves to maximize photosynthesis.
Some good plant choices for shade include:
- Lily of the valley – Convallaria majalis
- Hosta lily’s – Hosta crispula/elata
- Bergenia – Bergenia crassifolia
- Large rooted geraniums – Geranium macrorrhizum